[Sinn Fein]

8 July 2000

Orange Order's call for more Drumcree protests is `outrageous'

Sinn Fein Upper Bann Assembly member Dr Dara O'Hagan has described the call by the Portadown district of the Orange Order for an escalation of the Drumcree protests and the withdrawal of Orange Order members from the Assembly as ``absolutely outrageous''.

Dr O'Hagan said:

``One would have hoped that Harold Gracey and the Portadown district, having surveyed the damage caused as a consequence of their last call for protests, would at this stage have been prepared to use their influence in a calming fashion.

``It would seem, though, that in the considered opinion of Harold Gracey and his followers, there has not been enough disruption and destruction; there have not been enough Catholics intimidated from their homes or enough appearances of armed loyalists on the streets.

``Leading members of the Orange Order's Portadown district have clearly lost the plot. Their game plan appears to be one of pushing the situation as close to the brink as possible. It is essential that the Orange Order steps back and recognises the rights of all people in Ireland.''


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